Mattheas Seisay

Selected social welfare and justice electives (Go to Checkmarq for specific course offerings during each semester and prerequisites):


SOWJ 2150. Immigrants and their Communities.

An in-depth examination of historic and contemporary immigration to the U.S., especially in relationship to the American economy, ideas about race and cultural pluralism. The effects of immigration law and social policies on the socioeconomic mobility and well being of immigrant families are examined. The oral history method is used to capture immigrant experience.

SOWJ 2300. Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice.

Introduction to conflict resolution and restorative justice, the two major approaches used in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Begins with theory and practice of facilitative mediation for resolving interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. Continues with a focus on restorative justice as a way to heal and restore personal and community relationships rather than through punishment. Students learn primarily through reading key works in the field, lecture with discussion, invited speakers and active learning exercises.

SOWJ 2600. Community Organizing

Teaches basic leadership and organizing skills. Designed to be interactive and experiential, with role-plays, case studies and self-evaluations. Service Learning is required and implemented through Common Ground, an alliance of organizations seeking to make social change in Greater Milwaukee.

SOWJ 3320. Victim Services and Policies

Explores the history of victim services, the effects of victimization on individuals, families, and communities, the development of policies and the services available to victims within and external to the criminal justice system. Specialized topics may include family violence, workplace violence, public tragedy, violent crime, and white collar crime.

SOWJ 3370. Family Practice.

Introduction to family practice, primarily examining communication and structural models. Various theories of family intervention. Exploration of the process from initial problem assessment through intervention planning, implementation, evaluation, and termination. Simulations, role play and other classroom exercises help students understand how theories and techniques are applied in practice.

SOWJ 3400. Advocacy and Social Change Theory and Practice.

Review various theoretical and historical perspectives on injustice and oppression, within the context of social change strategies. Examination of traditional and nontraditional social action strategies, including community organizing/development. Learn agency and legislative advocacy skills with a specific focus on victim advocacy and at-risk populations. Analyze values and ethical perspectives related to social change.

SOWJ 3450. Arab and Muslim Americans.

Explores the historical, political and socioeconomic contexts that have shaped Arab American communities and identities. Examines the parallel growth of Muslim American communities brought about by immigration and religious conversion. Analyzes specific issues faced by Arabs and Muslims in American society, especially after 9/11.

SOWJ 3700. Social Welfare and the Law.

Provides an overview of issues lying at the intersection of the social work and the legal professions. Principles of collaboration between these professions and selected concepts and principles related to the establishment and enforcement of legal and social provisions for the protection of children, adults and the family are emphasized. Presents theoretical knowledge and background material, with opportunities to critically analyze social welfare and legal issues.

SOWJ 4300. Advanced Practice.

Students strengthen their skills in interviewing, data collection, problem appraisal, and the development of contracts for planned change. Competence is developed in carrying out contract plans, evaluating results, renegotiating contracts and terminating contracts. Working with families and groups is further examined.

SOWJ 4500. Challenges in Social Welfare and Justice.

An in-depth examination of ethical issues and special challenges that characterize the fields of social work, social welfare and social justice. Explores value dilemmas, stresses and frustrations that may confront professionals in these fields.

SOWJ 4600. Faith-based Activism.

Analyzes sociologically a range of historic and contemporary faith-based movements through the lens of social movement theory. Examines variations in goals, framing, strategies, mobilization, engagement of symbols and movement cultures as they are recorded in movement literature, oral histories, archives, films and scholarly studies.

SOWJ 4700. Global Aid and Humanitarianism.

Examines debate over what brings success and failure to global aid and humanitarian work. Begins with a focus on global poverty and debate between macro- and micro-economic solutions. Students then examine the development of the aid industry and international frameworks for humanitarian work, followed by exploration of various successful and failed attempts to deal with global issues, such as natural disasters, war, child welfare and human trafficking.

SOWJ 4986. Advanced Internship in Social Welfare and Justice.

Continuation of the internship experience. Placement is for a minimum of 140 hours per semester of supervised practice at the same agency as the previous semester and includes a weekly seminar. S/U grade assessment. Limited enrollment.

SOWJ 4995. Independent Study in Social Welfare and Justice

Supervised study in a specific area of SOWJ, such as in-depth library of field research, or a focused community project.

SOWJ 4999. Senior Thesis.

SOWJ majors with a quality point average of 3.000 or higher may write a thesis under the direction of an adviser.


Contact the Department of
Social and Cultural Sciences

Lalumiere Language Hall, Room 340
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
Phone: (414) 288-6838 | Fax: (414) 288-6444